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The State of Medical Marijuana in South Carolina
2020 Grade: F
2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations
South Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation in 2019 for 2020 consideration that would have authorized the creation of a comprehensive medical cannabis access system, however the legislation was tabled for 2020 and not considered as legislators concentrated on COVID emergency response measures.51 As Palmetto State legislators prepare for 2021 ASA encourages a return to consideration of a comprehensive medical access program to serve state patients. When adopting such a program, the state should include a system for in-state production and distribution, as well as civil discrimination protections for patients. The state should also seek to expand the list of qualifying conditions and develop strict product safety standards.
In 2014, South Carolina enacted Julian’s Law (S 1035), legislation permitting children with severe epilepsy to access CBD oil that is at least 15 percent CBD and no more than 0.9 percent THC. The law creates an exemption for the possession and use of CBD from the criminal definition of marijuana for patients who obtain a recommendation for CBD oil from a physician. The law also creates the ability for physicians to apply to take part in a statewide medical study of CBD oil for other conditions, though the CBD oil utilized for these studies must be at least 98 percent CBD and must come from a USDA-approved source.
Surveyed patients report being frustrated that medical cannabis is still illegal in South Carolina, except for the limited CBD program that is run through state universities.